Over a million migrants and refugees have reached Europe this year
The IOM has confirmed that over a million irregular migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, mostly from Syria, Africa and South Asia.
With arrivals of 4,141 migrants or refugees landing in Greece on Monday, IOM reports total arrivals to Europe at roughly 1,005,504, with just 3% coming by land. The total is the highest migration flow since World War II.
Lesbos is now the main refugee gateway to Europe, with just under half of those entering the continent in 2015 doing so by using the island as a staging post between the Greek mainland and the nearby shores of Turkey. Despite the worsening weather, and despite a so-called crackdown on Turkey’s people-smugglers, the numbers arriving in December are still higher than in June and July. Over 15 boats arrived on Lesbos on Monday. Across the Greek islands, the average number of refugees arriving each day in December is 3,338, lower than the October peak of 6,828, but far higher than July’s 1,771.
The UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres called on Friday for a “massive resettlement” of Syrian and other refugees within Europe, to distribute many hundreds of thousands of people before the continent’s asylum system crumbles.
He called for European countries to recognise the positive contributions made by refugees and migrants and to honour what he said were “core European values: protecting lives, upholding human rights and promoting tolerance and diversity.”
"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan